Kids voting allows youth to cast ballots

Kids voting allows youth to cast ballots Vermillion students in grades K-12 will participate in the 2002 election on Nov. 5 through a program called Kids Voting. The students will study the political process in the classroom using the Kids Voting curriculum, and then will vote on Election Day with their parents. They will vote in the official polling place in their own booths.

USD Leadership students will help educate elementary students on the upcoming election. The USD students will visit at Austin Elementary, Jolley Elementary, and the middle school to promote Kids Voting. USD students will help educate high school students by setting up information booths at their school.

The program gives students the opportunity to experience voting after studying the issues. A national survey recently reported that 18-24 year-olds do not vote if they are unfamiliar with the polling places and feel uncomfortable with the process of voting.

This project removes fear of voting. Research also shows that Kids Voting increases adult voter participation by 3 to 5 percent because the students involve their parents in the election process.

Kids Voting South Dakota is a private, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to building a more informed generation of voters. Kids Voting started in Arizona in 1988 and has spread to 39 states. The program began in South Dakota in 1992.

Major sponsors of Kids Voting South Dakota are the Chiesman Foundation for Democracy and Wells Fargo Banks of South Dakota. The Farber Center and Taco Johns are the local sponsors.

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